Press release struggles
Yesterday a PR friend, working in a different sector to me, vented about the process of producing a product-based press release. She described numerous back-and-forth edits with her client, only for the company’s legal department to revise it again at the eleventh hour. By the point she pressed send to journalists, all her flair had been stripped out of it, she sighed.
I appreciate this kind of thing can happen across the board, and it must be a maddening way to work, but I had to break it to her: I find a straight-talking, fact-packed press release most useful – even if it is drier than a bread stick.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a clever concept or beautiful design (I’m picturing my former ‘release of the week’, Maybelline’s tabloid-mimicking ‘The Mascaragraph’, with its news stories dedicated to each mascara in the brand’s portfolio), but more often than not we just want the facts and some background. Really, we relish the opportunity to shape our own story from that information, demonstrating to readers – as much as to Google’s algorithm – that the content we produce is unique and original (not a largely copy and paste job). Sharing exact concepts from press releases, while not plagiaristic, can result in disengaged readers as well as SEO losses.
Besides a genuinely exciting news release, which needs no further sell when being sent out to press, a consumer press release works best accompanied by a pitch email. And this is usually what sparks interest for me. As I said to my friend, pack this with your angles and (concise!) creative visions, tailored to the titles being targeted. As the precursor to your client’s official statement, it can be just as worthy of your time and efforts as the carefully crafted, impressive-seeming press release itself.
What Bridget Thinks…
“Here’s a great example of a straight-talking press release, and it’s packed with sustainability stats, industry insight and links to further assets. Thank you Boots.”